Forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. Though its not always easy to forgive someone and very possibly harder to forgive ourselves. It’s all well and good for someone to say, Well you need to forgive them or just let go and move on. Forgiveness doesn’t always feel easy.
Though there are many benefits to forgiveness and it has been associated with reducing and lowering stress and depression within the body. It has been connected to increased levels of life satisfaction and also increased feelings of wellbeing. One study has also found that trait forgiveness is linked to experiencing better relationships with others.
A few years ago, I came across a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness call Ho’oponopono. The word when translated into English means correction. Yet in the Hawaiian dictionary it is defined as: (a) to put right, correct, adjust, amend, rectify, tidy up, edit, to make ready; and (b) mental cleansing. Ho’oponopono is a profound gift which allows us to expand our relationship with ourselves and others asking that our errors in though, deed, word and behavior be cleansed.
Ho’oponopono is centered around four key phrases. Phrases which are often the hardest to say. It takes us into a place of ownership and allows us to open up our hearts for healing to take place. The four phrases are:
Step 1: I’m Sorry (repentance).
Saying sorry is never easy and can often be associated with pain. You can just say, I’m sorry, or you can be more specific and state what you’re sorry before you state the above phrase.
Step 2: Please forgive me (Ask forgiveness)
Step 3: Thank you (gratitude)
Thank who ever it is you need forgiveness from - yourself, someone else, your body, the Universe, God.
Step 4: I love you (love)
Again say it to which you are forgiving – yourself, your body, God, your challenges.
The four phrases can be said in any order and the beauty of it is its simplicity. It creates a meditative effect with a mindfulness approach allowing us to remove our ego and to move into our heart.
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